Tristan Beckmann’s Ultimate 2018 NFL Season Preview: Predicting the Standings, Playoffs, and Awards for the Upcoming Season

We are getting closer to the time of year where families and friends gather around the television on Sunday afternoons to watch true NFL football. It’s one of the best times of year and each year everybody is making their predictions to try to luckily guess the Super Bowl or what not. I’ve decided to follow suit but I’ve gone a little bolder with some of my predictions, and I will say that some of my picks may shock you. Fantasy Football Drafting has commenced and the football fever is ready to be in full swing. And just remember if you disagree with any of my predictions, these are just predictions and I’m not assuring that any of these will actually happen. The Pro Sport’s Fandom’s site-wide NFL Preview will release in the first week of September, but this is just a sneak peek of what’s to come there.

Feel free to contact me on Twitter @TBeckmann24 with any questions you may have about the NFL, MLB, NBA, Golf, or College Football/Basketball. I’ll try my best to answer every question I see. For these predictions, I used the Playoff Predictor site and I highly recommend using this site even if you just want to predict the entire NFL season for fun or to waste time. I’ll also be releasing a lot of content for the college football landscape once that season starts up, which will include a ton of way too early mock drafts and rankings. This preview is split up into three sections (standings, playoffs, awards), and I go in-depth at times. I will be releasing a midseason update preview and it will definitely go way more in-depth as we will know more about the league at that point of the season.

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Ultimate MLB Second Half Guide: Analysis and Predictions for Trade Deadline, Standings, Awards, and the Playoffs

We are one week away from the MLB All-Star break and inching ever closer to the July 31st league-wide non-waiver trade deadline. We have watched more than one half of the season and we are starting to get a good idea of the playoff picture, trade fits, standings, and award candidates. That’s why I felt that it was the perfect time to release a massive guide to the second half of the baseball season. My guide is here, complete with predictions and analysis on the trade deadline, final standings, playoffs, and season awards.

Table of Contents:

Trade Deadline Predictions- PG. 2

Standings Predictions- PG. 3

AL Playoff Predictions- PG. 4

NL Playoff Predictions- PG. 5

World Series Predictions- PG. 6

Season Awards Predictions- PG. 7

Concluding Thoughts- PG. 8

College Football Playoff- Is There a Fix?

Note to the reader: I recently tested the waters on another online blog and published this article there before returning to Pro Sports Fandom. When I left, I saw that the site I originally published this on had removed my name from the credits and given credit to another writer who frankly did not write this article. Here is the full original article and credits to me, myself, and I.

Ever since it’s induction in 2013, the College Football Playoff system has received criticism and caused issues. Most die-hard college football fans know the system by now, and either love it or hate it. But here’s the format in a brief description. The system has a 13 member committee who rank the top four teams each week starting in late October or early November.

In the final rankings, the top four teams would make the annual four team College Football Playoff. The final rankings also help to adequately determine the participants in the four New Year’s Six Bowls. It was a system that took a major step up from the previous two team BCS Championship Game. It was designed to give more teams opportunities, and make the New Year’s Six Bowls a lot more exciting for fans and teams alike. But yet here we are in 2018, and not all fans are excited or in love with the format.

Current College Football Playoff Format

The CFP committee releases a Top 25 each Tuesday after the conclusion of the first half of the season. The 13 member committee consists of current Division-1 college athletic directors, coaches, and executives. However, many of the athletic directors and coaches have either current or former ties to schools that qualify for consideration in the CFP. The CFP has a law that if a member of the committee has ties to a school, they are not allowed to vote for the school.

The CFP Rankings are based off of a team’s strength of schedule, conference championships, team records, and head to head results. The rankings shifted away from the computer based polls and rankings to different analytics. The big goal of the CFP was to give more teams an opportunity and a reward for having impressive records and regular seasons. It has done a better job than the preceding BCS Championship format did. But there are still many flaws to this system.

The College Football Playoff’s Flawed History

One of the biggest flaws in the new system is still the issue of deserving teams not getting an opportunity to play in the Playoff. In 2014, the format dealt with the TCU and Baylor debacle in its inception year. The teams won a share of the Big 12 that year, with both teams going 11-1. The committee left them out, however, because the Big 12 did not have a Conference Championship game.

The tightest year of the system to date was probably 2015-16. A few talented and deserving football teams like the one-loss Ohio State Buckeyes, two-loss PAC-12 champion Stanford Cardinal, and a one-loss Iowa Hawkeyes team were all left out of the top four. Out of every team ranked in the final CFP ranking from that year, seven teams managed to go undefeated or lose only one game. And yes, I get that the committee wants to reward teams that don’t lose or lose once but they seriously need to leave some room for error. Not all one or two loss teams should make the CFP but at least the most credible and impressive teams should.

2017-18 was another incredibly tight year of rankings and I think that this is the first really bad job that the committee had done in complete fashion. But the format that they have to abide by left them no choice. The undefeated AAC champion UCF Knights did not get a bid because the AAC isn’t a power conference. The Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes were left out because they had one bad loss to a solid bowl team in Iowa. Both teams should have gotten in solely based off their strong resumes. And now you might be asking, well how do they fix this? Well, I’ve got just the solution.

The Solution to Fix the College Football Playoff

The CFP should be extended to an eight-team playoff. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. The committee would use conference alignment to its best usage. They would grant automatic bids to the best team in the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and PAC-12. The committee would rank the teams in the conference and stack them up against each other to determine who is the best in their conference. Five automatic bids are allocated to the best team in each of these five power conferences.

The sixth automatic bid is more of a wildcard bid. The bid would be taken if a mid major program or Notre Dame inside the top 15 of the final rankings, then they would lock up the sixth automatic bid. It becomes a third wildcard bid if there is no qualifying team for these terms. If there are multiple potential qualifying teams in the top 15, then the highest ranked team would secure the bid. There will always be two wildcard bids and sometimes three.  These bids are given to the top remaining teams in the rankings without a spot, regardless of conference affiliation.

The setup for this eight team College Football Playoff is simple and exciting. In the first round, the top seed faces the lowest seed and it goes on. ESPN could cover one round of football per week. There would be one round per week until there are two teams remaining. For TV and time reasons, in the opening round, ESPN would have two games on Saturday, and two on Sunday. It would basically replicate the current format of the NFL divisional round of the playoffs.

In the semifinals, ESPN would hold both games on one of the final days of the year. The CFP would end with a CFP Championship Game on a Monday eight days after the semifinals. The CFP is all about making money, and here is their superstar way to do it.

What Would The Past Years Look Like Under This Format?

This new format would add another level of hype to the end of the College Football season. With it, losing one game to a top 25 team wouldn’t break a team’s season entirely. Seeding of the teams would be the automatic bids being seeded 1-6 based on their final ranking. The wildcard bids are seeded as the highest of the two or three would be the top seeded wildcard.

After creating this format, I found myself thinking: “What would the past playoffs have looked like under this format?”. I did some research, studied and came up with results. These won’t be 100% accurate, obviously, but let’s see it anyways!

Note: Bold teams represent wildcard bids. Seeds are in order from highest to lowest.

2014-15 Teams: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, Baylor, TCU, Mississippi State, Michigan State.

2015-16 Teams: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State.

2016-17 Teams: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Washington, Oklahoma, Western Michigan, Penn State, Michigan.

2017-18 Teams: Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, USC, UCF, Alabama, Wisconsin.

All images used, owned by College Football News.

MLB Summer Trade Market 2018: An early forecast on this year’s trade deadline

The MLB season is in full swing and we are getting ready to reach the start of the summer of the long baseball season. June is a few days away and that means that we are inching closer and closer to the trade market heating up in its classic summer form. With my knowledge, I’ve mapped out multiple trades that I think could happen during the trade deadline. So without further ado, let’s get into my early trade deadline predictions. And we will surely look back at this in July and see if I was right with any of my predictions. Let’s go!

  • The Boston Red Sox acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto and second baseman Starlin Castro from the Miami Marlins.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies acquire third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for multiple young, talented prospects.
  • The Cleveland Indians acquire reliever Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for a prospect or two.
  • The Atlanta Braves acquire third baseman Mike Moustakas and veteran starter Ian Kennedy from the Kansas City Royals.
  • The New York Yankees acquire reliever Brad Hand from the San Diego Padres.
  • The New York Yankees acquire left handed starter Patrick Corbin from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • The Chicago Cubs acquire right handed starter Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers acquire first baseman Justin Bour from the Miami Marlins.
  • The Houston Astros acquire left handed reliever Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Los Angeles Angels acquire left handed starter J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • The Cleveland Indians acquire veteran outfielder Adam Jones from the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers acquire utility specialist Jed Lowrie from the Oakland Athletics.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers acquire veteran lefty Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies acquire right handed reliever Brad Brach from the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Seattle Mariners acquire veteran second baseman Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers bring back veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.
  • The Cleveland Indians acquire second baseman Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Despite the Orioles being huge sellers at the deadline, they hold off on swinging a deal trading away All-Star shortstop Manny Machado.

17 of 19 and Rolling: How the Yankees are shaping up to be the best team in baseball

Writing an article of this sort seemed probable in December, but I thought I’d overhyped the New York Yankees once I saw their subpar start to the season. I started to question that maybe I’d been wrong and that the addition of reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t going to help bolster the lineup.

I mean, on April 20th, the Yankees looked like one of the few overhyped clubs in baseball. At this point in the season, the Bronx Bombers were considered a team that would stick in the Wildcard race in the American League. They’d limped out to a 9-9 record and their division rival, the Red Sox, the hottest team in baseball at the time, had fired its way to a 17-2 start. And I know it was way early in the season, but at this point, it felt like the Red Sox were the most complete team in the league.

The Yankees just hadn’t been good to start off the season. Sonny Gray was struggling to take command on the mound in his starts and Masahiro Tanaka struggled to consistently dominate deep into his starts. The bullpen was just remotely off and they needed more than just a few hot bats to win ball games.

It All Clicked:

But when the pieces seemed to have been unglued, Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman came to a consensus on calling up top prospect infielder Gleyber Torres. Heading into 2018, Torres was ranked as the fifth best prospect in baseball and his major league debut was expected by fans at some point this season. But I can guarantee you most of these fans expected him to debut during the summer, and definitely not in the middle of the first month of the season. I can confidently tell you that the move was warranted however.

The Yankees needed a spark in the clubhouse, on the field, and in the dugout. They didn’t have an everyday second baseman on the active roster and Torres got the call. Torres debuted on April 22nd, going 0 for 4 in his first game. But since he got to the Bronx, he seems to have a tremendous fit, and he certainly always had the potential to be the next great Yankee on a roster filled with all-star talent. He’s been tearing it up since his debut, batting .344 in 18 games, along with two home runs, including a walk off homer against the Indians last Sunday. And not to mention, the Yankees have only lost twice since Torres debut.

Now while it hasn’t been a pretty start for star slugger Giancarlo Stanton, I expect him to find his stride soon. He’s a great hitter and great hitters tend to eventually figure it out. Stanton hasn’t had to be great however, as these Yankees are the hottest team in baseball right now and they show no signs of bowing out. They’ve won 17 of their last 19 games and it’s certainly not a cheap hot streak to take for granted. Of their 17 wins, only four have come against a team with a record that is below .500. And that team is a Minnesota Twins team that’s starting to heat up.

An Unmatched Streak:

The Yankees swept the Twins, Angels, won 3 of 4 on the road against the defending World Series champion Astros, swept the Indians, and took two of three from their division rival Red Sox. The Red Sox are also the second best team in baseball. But it’s becoming quite clear that the New York Yankees are the best team in baseball.

The Bronx Bombers are already reaching new heights this season and it’s scary to consider that two of their best hitters have really yet to catch fire in Gary Sánchez and Giancarlo Stanton. And don’t forget that first baseman Greg Bird, expects to soon return from an injury. Bird is a very talented and young hitter who adds to the power and nightmare aspect of the Yankee lineup.

The streak truly started off with shortstop Didi Gregorius. He has looked exactly like the kind of player we saw a glimpse of in the postseason last year, as he is a perennial AL MVP candidate who is officially a star and deserves recognition as a top five shortstop in the league. He’s been arguably the team’s best player this season and has put together career numbers thus far, batting .280 with 10 HR and 31 RBIs. And to be fair, nobody expected Didi to be one of the top three hitters in this loaded Yankees lineup. His breakout to stardom is an added bonus to a team full of all-stars. And while Didi has been in quite a slump as of late (5 hits in his last 48 at-bats), he’s established himself as an impact player and he’ll likely get back into that form soon.

Gregorius and Torres aren’t the only impactful bats so far this season. Star outfielder Aaron Judge looks just as good as how he started off last season. In 37 games, he’s batted .311 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs. He’s also quite the defensive right fielder and he’s one of the more underappreciated defenders in baseball.

Even through his struggles, Gary Sánchez has been a clutch hitter in multiple games this season, as he has hit two game winning longballs in 33 games. He’s batting a very rough .202, with nine home runs and 29 RBIs. The Kraken has also been a extra base hit machine so far this season, with 17 of his 25 hits going for extra bases or more.

Sánchez still needs to improve his skills as a defensive catcher and it will come in due time, but his value as a hitter is untouched by any catcher in the rest of the league. Giancarlo Stanton’s rough start has gotten better lately, and he’s got his batting average up to .238, as well as having nine home runs and 23 RBIs. Once he gets on a tear, I don’t see any way a pitcher can get out of the game without giving up at least 5 runs.

Brett Gardner, the leadoff hitter in most games for the Yankees, hasn’t been amazing to start the season, but he still puts together quality at-bat after quality at-bat at the plate. He’ll eventually see his .208 batting average rise and hopefully his home run total too.

The Pitching Is Mostly Spectacular:

The Yankees are once again seeing true ace colors from young star pitcher Luis Severino, who has started off the season as dominant and fearless as they come on the mound. He has made eight starts, compiled a 5-1 record with a 2.21 ERA in 53 innings of work. He also is pitching strongly with a 0.87 WHIP and recently threw a complete game shutout against the Astros.

C.C. Sabathia has been resurgent as the veteran pitcher for the rotation. He’s made seven starts, has a 2-0 record in 36.1 innings pitched, with a 2.23 ERA. Aroldis Chapman has been the dominant closer like always, making 17 appearances this season, totaling nine saves with a 1.59 ERA. The Yankees bullpen has been rough at times, but they have a really solid couple of pitchers in Chad Green, David Robertson, and Dellin Betances. They are hopeful that relievers Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren soon make their returns from the DL.

The Yankees have battled the injury bug a ton throughout the young season. Brandon Drury, Greg Bird, Jordan Montgomery, Tommy Kahnle, and Adam Warren are all on the DL. With Montgomery out at least six weeks, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for general manager Brian Cashman to pursue a fifth starter as both insurance and a fill-in for Montgomery.

What To Watch For This Summer:

The Yankees could be big players on the summer trade market. They have a loaded farm system with top prospects like OF Estevan Florial, LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Albert Abreu, RHP Chance Adams, and a young and injured MLB-ready outfielder in Clint Frazier. The Yankees could pursue a bit more in terms of bullpen help, so look out for guys like Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, Orioles relievers Darren O’Day and Mychal Givens as potential targets. They could pursue a talented starting pitcher like Tigers starter Michael Fulmer, Rangers starter Cole Hamels, or Rays starter Chris Archer.

No matter what happens over the next month or two with these Yankees, I’m confident that they are a prominent World Series contender until they prove otherwise. They are talented, hungry, and are in a great position with Cashman having tons of trade chips to work with come July. They’re tied for the AL East division lead with the Red Sox. They start a three game series tonight at home against the Oakland Athletics. Sonny Gray will be on the mound in a game that will start at 7:05 p.m., and will be aired on MLB Network (subject to market).

2018 Denver Broncos Season Preview: Predictions, Draft Grades, And Projected Depth Chart

Three days of elongated waiting for some prospects are finally in the books, as the 2018 NFL Draft concludes this afternoon with its third day of nonstop action, in which we saw the fourth through seventh rounds play out. The next step for all NFL teams is to bring in undrafted free agents before camps start getting underway. With that said, this is a season preview for the 2018 Denver Broncos, but it’s coming with my initial reactions immediately after the draft. I will cover everything from Draft Grades to Season Predictions in this article. I hope you enjoy! If you’d like to see more content like this for other teams, be sure to let me know on my personal Twitter account at @TBeckmannPSF! Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

PSF’s Ultimate Multi-Man Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Welcome to the final, ultimate version of my 2018 NFL Mock Draft. Well with a twist at least. For this final try at mocking the first round of this year’s draft, I asked a few of my colleagues here at Pro Sports Fandom to help me out and participate in a multi man mock draft. We are exactly one week away from the draft and teams are winding down their list of roster needs. Scouts have traveled across the country to get great looks at some of the top prospects in this year’s draft class. After viewing all the tape I could handle from College Football to the Pro Days, I feel ready to release the final version of my 2018 mock draft.

So let’s get to the point right. Over the last few months, I scouted this 2018 draft class, position by position, player by player, as the college football season chipped away. I’ve watched enough tape on some of the guys to be able to put together rankings of them and now the final version of my mock draft for the 2018 NFL Draft. This mock draft is marking my final thoughts as we are one week away from the NFL Draft kicking off. In my opinion, this feels like a very good mock draft. Right now, I’ve enlisted the help of three colleagues and we’ve worked together and projected the first 32 selections in the draft, (with no trading predictions). And now, with all of that said, it is time to unveil the final version of my 2018 NFL Mock Draft! Don’t forget to go check out my colleagues and I on Twitter!

*Note: The initials in parentheses represent who made the pick for that respective team.

Tristan Beckmann (TB) (@TBeckmannPSF)

Brian Willis (BW) (@RealBrianWillis)

Eric Jensen (EJ) (@Eric18Utah)

Chris Chastain (CC) (@ChrisC_01)

And be sure to check out Eric and Chris’s amazing podcast on ITunes or Podbean, the Endzone Podcast, it’s a great place to listen to the guys just talking football! But enough of the talk, let’s get right into these picks.

1. Cleveland Browns (0-16) (TB):

Wyoming QB Josh Allen

2. New York Giants (3-13) (EJ):

Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

3. New York Jets (from IND) (4-12) (BW):

USC QB Sam Darnold

4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU) (4-12) (CC):

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

5. Denver Broncos (5-11) (TB):

UCLA QB Josh Rosen

6. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ) (5-11) (EJ):

NC State EDGE Bradley Chubb

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) (BW):

Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

8. Chicago Bears (5-11) (CC):

Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

9. San Francisco 49ers (6-10) (TB):

Georgia LB Roquan Smith

10. Oakland Raiders (6-10) (EJ):

Florida State S Derwin James

11. Miami Dolphins (6-10) (BW):

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

12. Buffalo Bills (from CIN) (6-10) (CC):

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

13. Washington Redskins (7-9) (TB):

Washington DT Vita Vea

14. Green Bay Packers (7-9) (EJ):

Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

15. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) (BW):

Iowa CB Josh Jackson

16. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) (CC):

Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) (TB):

Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

18. Seattle Seahawks (9-7) (EJ):

Texas OT Connor Williams

19. Dallas Cowboys (9-7) (BW):

UTSA EDGE Marcus Davenport

20. Detroit Lions (9-7) (CC):

Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

21. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF) (9-7) (TB):

UTEP OG Will Hernandez

22. Buffalo Bills (from KC) (9-7) (EJ):

SMU WR Courtland Sutton

23. New England Patriots (from LAR) (11-5) (BW):

Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch

24. Carolina Panthers (11-5) (CC):

Maryland WR D.J. Moore

25. Tennessee Titans (9-7) (TB):

Boston College OLB Harold Landry

26. Atlanta Falcons (10-6) (EJ):

Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5) (BW):

Penn State TE Mike Gesicki

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) (CC):

UCF CB Mike Hughes

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5) (TB):

Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk

30. Minnesota Vikings (13-3) (EJ):

Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn

31. New England Patriots (13-3) BW):

UCLA OT Kolton Miller

32. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) (CC):

South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! Be sure to share with your friends and family! Feel free to give me and my colleagues your thoughts on Twitter @TBeckmannPSF! Peace!

Tristan Beckmann’s Ultimate 2018 MLB Season Preview And Predictions

It’s one of the most exciting times of year. Baseball is here. It’s back! The MLB kicks off its season on Thursday, March 29th. We are in for a treat this season and baseball fans around the world will gather in a few days to start watching the long journey from Opening Day to the World Series. So since it’s almost Opening Day, I decided to throw together my ultimate preview and predictions for the 2018 MLB season. I’ll predict each award, regular season standings, breakdown the divisions, and predict the entire postseason. Obviously, no one quite knows whether these predictions will be right, but I think I’m a good enough expert about baseball to where these predictions could be reasonably accurate. I hope you agree with them and even if you don’t, be sure to hit me up on Twitter @TBeckmannPSF and give me your thoughts on my predictions. I’m always up for some debate. But enough talking, let’s get right into this Ultimate 2018 MLB Season Preview!

Table of Contents:

PG.1: Introduction.

PG.2: Standings And Divisoon Breakdowns.

PG.3: Playoff Predictions.

PG.4: Awards Predictions.

2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball FINAL FOUR Game Previews And Predictions

The tournament shrunk from 64 to 32, from 32 to 16, 16 to 8, and now 8 to 4. As we head to San Antonio, four college basketball teams remain alive in the fight for the NCAA championship. There was a lot of tremendous action in the second weekend but personally I thought the first weekend was better, but it’s not really fair because there were about double the games in the first weekend.

Loyola-Chicago continued its cinderella story with a 78-62 victory over Kansas State that sent the Ramblers to the Final Four for the first time since they won the national title in 1963. Michigan withstood a late push by upset-hopeful Florida State and advanced to the Final Four with a 58-54 victory. Villanova played forty minutes of solid basketball en route to a 71-59 victory over Texas Tech. The best game of the weekend was hands down the final game, a matchup between blue blood programs in Duke and Kansas. It was a back and forth battle and Grayson Allen’s potential game-winning jumper at the end of regulation rimmed out in the most heartbreaking fashion. We got five extra minutes of basketball in this one and Malik Newman made it his five minutes. He took over in overtime and led the Jayhawks to the Final Four in an 85-81 nail biter.

Do you need advice on these Final Four Games? Well don’t fear because I am here to help. I’m going to preview and give you my pick for each of the Final Four games. Let’s get right into it!

(Saturday, March 31st, 2018)

#3 Michigan vs. #11 Loyola-Chicago

(6:09 p.m. EST, TBS; San Antonio, TX)

Preview: In the first Final Four Game, the Ramblers efficient offense will clash heads with a Michigan team ranked third in adjusted defensive efficiency. It will be Loyola-Chicago’s toughest matchup yet in the tournament and they may need more magic. Loyola-Chicago is no slouch on the defensive end either however, as no opponent of theirs has scored over 70 points in a tournament game. The Ramblers are fairly inconsistent when it comes to limiting turnovers, and this could pose a problem down the stretch against the Wolverines tough defense. Michigan defends the three pointer very well which has shown to be a must against Loyola-Chicago. If they can halt the hot shooting Ramblers just a bit, then Michigan may run away with this one. But they’ve gone so far and this cinderella story is one that I’m not sure is going to end just yet. LOYOLA!

Pick: #11 Loyola-Chicago 66, #3 Michigan 62.

#1 Villanova vs. #1 Kansas

(8:49 p.m. EST, TBS; San Antonio, TX)

Preview: This is a battle of the top remaining seeds and blue blooded programs in Kansas and Villanova. This will be the game of the tournament in my opinion and you could very well say the NCAA champion will be the winner of this Final Four matchup. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges are expected to carry the load for the Wildcats and Villanova can get joy from three point range, which causes a bevy of problems for opposing defenses. Villanova can’t get stale on the defensive end either though and they must keep chomping at the bit defensively at the Jayhawks. Kansas certainly could use a player of the year type performance from Big 12 POY Devonte’ Graham. They could also use a performance like the one Malik Newman had in the second half and overtime periods against Duke in their Elite 8 win. Graham has struggled as of late and it hasn’t been fatal for Kansas, but against the star power of Villanova, Graham will have to show up for Kansas to keep it interesting.

Pick: #1 Villanova 77, #1 Kansas 72.

2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket Breakdown: Elite Eight Game Previews And Predictions

*This story will be updated*

Oh my goodness. What a night of college basketball to start off the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Loyola-Chicago kept the train rolling with clutch shots as they overcame Nevada, 69-68, to advance to the Elite 8. Michigan’s offense came alive as they absolutely destructed Texas A&M 99-72 in the Sweet Sixteen. Kansas State and Kentucky played one of the more intense defensive games of the tournament, and both teams struggled to get going on offense. It resulted in a major upset as Kansas State upended Kentucky 61-58 to advance to the Elite Eight. A hot start helped propel Florida State to its third win as an underdog in this tournament as they defeated fourth seeded Gonzaga 75-60 to advance to the Elite Eight.

All of these results just keep adding on to what many believe has been the most action packed NCAA tournament ever. We will see a 9 or 11 seed in the Final Four, which is pretty crazy, and who knows, we may see more upsets that lead to one of the most interesting Final Fours in recent history. I’m here to give you my full Game Previews And Predictions for Each Elite Eight Game. This story will be updated Saturday with Friday’s winners. Let’s get right into it!

(Saturday, March 24th, 2018)

#9 Kansas State vs. #11 Loyola-Chicago

(6:09 p.m. EST, TBS; Atlanta, GA)

Preview: This is what the South Region has come to. But honestly, this excites me, there’s always room for a new program in the Final Four. Loyola-Chicago is everyone’s favorite cinderella story, reminding me of the VCU Rams and Butler Bulldogs teams that went to the Final Four. Loyola-Chicago’s efficient offense will take the court against the physical defense of Kansas State. A lot of Kansas State’s game depends on whether star Dean Wade will play a lot with his health. If he plays a lot, I can see the Wildcats winning this game, but if he doesn’t see much action, I’m going with the Ramblers. I’ve personally fallen in love with the Ramblers over the last few weeks and I’ve got no choice but to pick them to go to the Final Four.

Pick: #11 Loyola-Chicago 73, #9 Kansas State 67.

#3 Michigan vs. #9 Florida State

(8:49 p.m. EST, TBS; Los Angeles, CA)

Preview: Michigan looked alive offensively last night in its rout of Texas A&M. They’ve got the firepower to win games and John Beilein’s teams historically play well in March. Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles have won in their first three games and they were underdogs in all three. They will be underdogs again against the Wolverines and I just don’t know if Terance Mann and Phil Cofer can keep up with this Wolverines team at its best. I think Moritz Wagner will have a career game and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman will be the counterforce alongside him. I’ve got the Wolverines winning this game to advance to the first Final Four since their runner-up appearance in the 2013 Final Four to Louisville.

Pick: #3 Michigan 82, #9 Florida State 71.